Innovation in Water Research

University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering is Canada’s top-ranked engineering school and one of the world’s best. We are a premier research-solutions powerhouse addressing pressing water challenges facing industry, municipalities, and the public, across Canada and worldwide.

Working together to steward, conserve and manage water safely and efficiently

  • null

    One water

    Fresh water, salt water, wastewater, industrial water, drinking water: all water on Earth is part of the same cycle. There is only one water — that’s why #EveryDropMatters.

  • null

    Pressing concerns facing our planet

    From drinking water, to power generation, to agriculture and mining, water is central to Canada’s environmental and economic stability. Globally, water distribution, quality and scarcity are some of the most pressing concerns facing our planet.

  • null

    U of T Engineering's leading water researchers

    The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering unites a critical mass of leading water researchers in a wide range of fields working to address global water challenges.

Follow the Campaign

Follow the #everydropmatters campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

U of T Engineering

EXCELLENCE IN WATER RESEARCH

null
null

Purifying Drinking Water

We are breaking down trace amounts of pharmaceutical compounds in our water. Many of the drugs we ingest pass through our bodies into our wastewater — and eventually into lakes and rivers. To address this emerging challenge, engineering professors Robert Andrews and Ron Hofmann study a technology called advanced oxidation, which blasts water with everything from ultraviolet light to ozone. This process breaks down chemical compounds, leading to safer and cleaner drinking water.

null
null

Restoring Contaminated Groundwater

We are cleaning sites across Canada contaminated by past industrial activity. Professor Brent Sleep and his team are tackling the challenge through a project called Innovative Technologies for Groundwater Remediation (INTEGRATE). Contaminants can be degraded by bacteria, but the process is slow — the INTEGRATE team is accelerating the process by pre-treating soil and inserting custom communities of more efficient bacteria. For example, Professor Elizabeth Edwards has isolated and maintained a community of microbes called KB-1 that is particularly good at degrading chlorinated compounds.

null
null

Sustainable Sanitation

We are addressing global challenges related to water health and sanitation. Most improved sanitation systems, such as sewerage systems or ventilated pit latrines, require centralized processing that exposes populations to leaks, spills, illegal dumping, and serious health risks. A team led by chemical engineering professor and director of the Centre for Global Engineering, Yu-Ling Cheng, is developing a waterless sanitation appliance that rapidly disinfects waste on-site, reducing the threat of exposure.

null
null

Designing for Stormwater

We are developing pavement technology that minimizes the potential for flooding.  Buildings and roadways are designed to get rid of water as quickly as possible, which can result in flooding during intense storms. Engineering professor Jennifer Drake is using technologies like water-permeable pavement to restore natural flow systems, which allow for groundwater recharge and river-like flows. She is also optimizing the design and cost-effectiveness of green roofs, which can reduce peak stormwater flows.

null
null

Rethinking Remediation for Resource Extraction

We are making mining more sustainable. Each year the mining industry generates millions of litres of contaminated wastewater, the chemistry of which is controlled by ancient microorganisms that breathe minerals in order to survive. An academic-industrial collaboration led by Lesley Warren, a professor in Civil Engineering and director of the Lassonde Institute of Mining, is studying the genomes of these organisms, gaining insight that could help both clean up contaminated water and prevent pollutants from forming in the first place.